Software and Hardware Tips for Being Really, Totally, Incredibly Secure

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As you sit your groggy Monday self down on the cushy sofa in the local independent coffee shop, eyes all puffy from 6 hours of sleep and the morning fog, and having barked a very specific drink order to the barista, you quickly open your laptop, jump on the cafe’s WiFi, to get on with the day’s work.

You see other people doing the same, enjoying the cozy, safe environment of this cookie-cutter (no pun intended) establishment. A young businesswoman is VPNing into her workplace, a stay-at-home Dad sips his drink while organising a family photo album, and in the far corner of the room, you can’t really believe your eyes, but you could swear you can see a guy doing some pretty serious online banking.

You internally roll your eyes, especially at the last guy, for using an insecure connection. As for yourself, you are confident you know the ropes. You don’t use Windows because the UNIX-based Mac OS has a much safer design, its small market share also meaning it is not as widely targeted. Your Chrome browser sandboxes most of the processes to keep you protected from pesky malware. You stay safe on the Internet, browsing mostly through familiar sites, using complex passwords, avoiding the Cloud where not needed, disabling Flash, and ads.

Being a computer-savvy person though, there is a tiny voice in your  head that reminds you about how you aren’t doing everything, that maybe you aren’t even doing most of the things that would really keep your data safe. Well lucky you, since this post is almost entirely dedicated to reminding you it’s always safety first! And to sweeten the deal, we’ll even tell you how to do it, if you are serious about security. If you can handle the truth, that is.


Disclaimer: In an ideal software/hardware setup as presented in the following guide, there are bound to be software availability and compatibility issues, specific to how and why you use your devices. We are fully aware that there is always a necessary compromise between security and convenience.

1. Being somewhat serious about security

Think about what browser you are using. The most convenient choices being Chrome and Firefox, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. Chrome can sandbox processes really well, but a part of it is closed source. Firefox has some nifty features especially in the field of security certificates (most importantly not having a ton of them pre-installed), but is also widely targeted. What else can one do? A browser is one of the most important tool of people working with the Web: content publishers around the world are dependent on their browser and the plethor of web applications which sometimes use potentially insecure technologies such as Silverlight, or JavaScript, or ActiveScript.

Th first thing to do is quite simple, but also changes your browsing experience in a big way: using security plugins such as NoScript. These can make web browsing a bit annoying. However, this is a tradeoff so you can decide whether to launch that weird script or not.

If you want, you can definitely go all the way and download a browser like Epic.


2. Being pretty serious about security

So you cannot live without a smartphone. Well, Blackberry finally has an answer for many security-conscious consumers with the Priv. Admittedly, Blackberry was the default choice for people focusing on safety for a long time, before they decided to shoot themselves in the foot with the biggest gun possible, by keeping their antiquated OS alive and simultaneously bringing a completely new OS to an already crowded market. Blackberry is back with a vengeance, though. The Priv is a flagship device, sporting a relatively pure Android experience, along with some souped up privacy features.


3. Being incredibly serious about security

Changing your operating system is a big life choice, like buying that car or getting a mortgage for that house. You need to completely change your lifestyle. Linux and BSD are just some of the POSIX compliant systems that are free and have made giant strides towards user friendliness and application compatibility in recent years, Linux being the go-to operating system for open source lovers, and BSD the more hardcore (real UNIX) OS for those that really know what they’re doing. 

There is a huge debate going on about whether these OSes being open source means that they are more secure or not. The jury’s still out, but an argument pro is that you have more eyes looking at the code, which is a great thing in my book.

Ubuntu is the most popular distribution of GNU/Linux

Ubuntu is the most popular distribution of GNU/Linux


4. Security is your main priority

Let’s be honest for a moment here: in the end, it’s all about DATA. There are ways to phish even the most savvy user, to crack the safest OS. A good cracker can usually find his way onto a device, if he really wishes to. Or a rogue government. Heck, there have been high school kids who have entered some pretty famous networks in the not-so-recent past. So what’s the real answer to being really, totally, incredibly secure? It’s a no-brainer, really:

Keep your data on a disk. Preferably with some serious encryption, like the military-grade AES 265 encryption Krypterix has on offer with every disk. And don’t just put it on any old hard-drive: you can, for instance, choose an SSD hard drive for faster speeds. It doesn’t have moving parts, so it won’t get damaged as easily (not that even a normal hard drive would, as all Krypterix drives are solidly built). Now your data is actually safe. Well, this article is not really a top-down-list. A good hardware encrypted hard-drive is the foundation of a secure enironment. You don’t have to be a paranoid person to value your privacy. That’s why you can start building from this point with Krypterix, and with your data safely in its 256-bit encrypted hands, you can calmly go look at what other gadgets will work well with it, and enjoy your coffee.



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